Will Regina Holiday Become Health Care’s Rosa Parks?

Michael Millenson

Posted 5/5/12 on The Health Care Blog

The protest organized by Regina Holliday over a patient’s right to access their medical information is not quite the same magnitude as agitating for integration in 1950s-era Alabama. Yet there are intriguing similarities between the crusade Rosa Parks launched then and what Holliday is attempting today. Both involve a refusal to accept second-class status and a resolve to push back against entrenched institutions.

Continue reading “Will Regina Holiday Become Health Care’s Rosa Parks?”

How Obama Botched and Bungled the Health Reform Message

Michael Millenson

Posted 4/25/12 on the Huffington Post

While it’s comforting to just blame the GOP for the unhappiness with health reform threatening the president’s re-election, the truth is that Barack Obama repeatedly botched, bungled and bobbled the health reform message. There were three big mistakes:

The Passionless Play While Candidate Obama proclaimed a passionate moral commitment to fix American health care, President Obama delved into legislative details.

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HealthTap: The Emperor’s New Clothes of Social Sites

Michael Millenson

Posted 1/08/12 on Forbes

You can’t get much cooler than HealthTap: slick Silicon Valley start-up, social media darlingsavvy and successful backers. But when you closely examine the service HealthTap actually provides, the money and good looks fall away. Like in the fable about “the emperor’s new clothes,” behind the buzz, there’s nothing there.

OK, maybe one thing: a really risky way to get medical advice.

Here’s how a Feb. 4 New York Times article described the company’s website:

[U]sers post questions and doctors post brief answers. The service is free, and the doctors aren’t paid. Instead, they engage in gamelike competitions, earning points and climbing numbered levels. They can also receive nonmonetary awards — many of them whimsically named, like the “It’s Not Brain Surgery” prize, earned for answering 21 questions at the site.

Fellow physicians can show that they concur with the advice offered by clicking “Agree,” and users can show their appreciation with a “Thank” button.

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Super Bowl Sanitation: “Washed Up” Giants Outpoint Docs

 

Michael Millenson

Posted 1/30/12 on Forbes 

Is the New York Giants bathroom more sanitary than your hospital room? Could be. And that player cleanliness may even have helped send the team to the Super Bowl.

Freakonomics co-author and self-confessed germophobe Stephen Dubner, working on a Football Freakonomics segment for the National Football League, noticed that every urinal in the football Giants’ bathroom had a plastic pump bottle of hand sanitizer perched on top – a phenomenon he promptly documented photographically.

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10 Sex Tips For Better Looking Health Insurance

Michael Millenson

Posted 1/22/12 on Forbes

OK, maybe I misread the cover of the dog-eared copy of Glamour perched in a magazine rack at the gym. Perhaps I was confused by the multi-colored headlines promising an improved physical appearance (“101 One Minute Makeover Tricks”), a more organized daily routine (“12 Ways to Get Your Sh*T Together”) and, of course, better sex (“Guys Talk Sex! The 16 Things Almost EveryMan is Attracted To”).

(Note to other males: No, I couldn’t get up to sixteen, either.)

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Big Government Brings Big Profits To Texas Health Plans

Michael Millenson

Posted 12/11/11 on Forbes

Governor Rick Perry of Texas speaking at the R...While Texas Governor Rick Perry rails against the evils of  federal involvement in health care on the GOP presidential campaign trail, businesses back home are busy raking in record profits from government dollars.

“By largely exiting the employer market and focusing on Medicare and Medicaid, Texas HMOs have enjoyed strong and growing profits in the last six years,” concluded the newly issued Texas Health Market Review 2011, an analysis of financial filings by state plans. It added, “HMOs here now are focused on the niche businesses of Medicare and Medicaid, both of which were strongly profitable in 2010. Overall, Texas HMOs reported net income of $404.1 million in 2010, or 3.3% of underwriting revenues of $12.41 billion.”

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